Oscar Nominations: 12 Years A Slave A Hot Tip
The UK film 12 Years A Slave faces strong competition from American Hustle and Gravity at this year's Oscars, nominations for which are announced this afternoon.
Directed by Briton Steve McQueen, the film is based on the true story of a man from New York who is captured and sold into slavery in America's Deep South.
The production has already picked up 10 Bafta nominations and this week took the best movie drama title at the Golden Globes.
The film's cast, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender, are also in the running to be nominated, as is McQueen himself.
But the film still needs to see off its rivals before it can secure Oscar victory.
Bookmaker William Hill said a sudden increase in bets for American Hustle, which stars Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale, had made it second favourite for the best picture Oscar.
"Just a fortnight ago we thought that 12 Years A Slave and Chiwetel were certainties for Oscar glory, but the latest gamble suggests that may just not be the case," said a spokesman.
Other productions in the running include Martin Scorsese's The Wolf Of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, pirate drama Captain Phillips and Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom.
Gravity, the 3D film about astronauts stranded in space, is also a contender. It picked up the prestigious best director Globe for Alfonso Cuaron.
Dame Judi Dench is also tipped for a nomination for her role in Philomena, which is based on the true story of a woman's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption.
The film could also pick up a nomination for her co-star Steve Coogan for his work on the film's screenplay.
The nominations will be announced by Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
:: Watch the Oscar nominations ceremony at 1.38pm live on Sky News, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.
You can also watch the Oscars live on Sunday, March 2 on Sky Movies from 11.30pm.